Day Six: Depending, Not Demanding
Fasting Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 20:3-4 ESV)
In this passage, the king of Judah has just learned that three enemy nations have joined forces against him, and he is afraid. Rather than quickly coming up with some sort of plan or strategy of his own design, he calls the people of the land to humble themselves – to fast and seek help from the Lord. Jehoshaphat then goes before God in prayer, expressing his confidence in God’s character and his trust in God’s promises, concluding with these words – “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Jehoshaphat doesn’t come demanding or dictating to God what he should do, nor does he offer God advice on the best way to intervene, he simply presents himself before the Lord, declaring his dependence on him and seeking help from him.
As we walk though life, we will doubtless encounter circumstances that seem overwhelming to us; situations that are beyond our own wisdom to solve and our own strength to battle. Fasting is one way we can humble ourselves before God and express our need for him. It is a time to recall God’s unchanging character and to remind ourselves of his unshakable promises. It is an opportunity to stop trying to take care of ourselves with our own resources and turn to the one who has pledged to be our protector and provider. Fasting is a time when we can set our face to seek help from the Lord our God.
Reflection: Is there a situation in your life that you have been trying to handle in your own strength? Use your time of fasting to give this over to God, echoing the words of the king of Judah – “I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you.”